ARLINGTON (AP) – C.J. Wilson understood why Texas manager Ron Washington wouldn’t give him a shot at his second consecutive shutout.
Wilson scattered five singles over eight shutout innings, Adrian Beltre homered twice to reach 301 for his career and the AL West-leading Rangers beat Oakland 8-1 on Sunday to eliminate the Athletics from playoff contention.
Wilson (16-6) struck out 11 and walked one, following up on his first career shutout — an 8-0 win at Tampa Bay last Tuesday.
Wilson set a career high for victories and wanted a complete game, but Washington pulled his ace after 111 pitches.
Washington is trying to avoid extra stress on Wilson’s left arm down the stretch, and Wilson agreed with his manager to take a long-term approach and stay in the dugout with an 8-0 lead.
“He understands,” Washington said. “He’s the guy in our rotation who’s going every fifth day.”
Wilson threw an assortment of pitches to a lineup that included late-season call-ups and reserves.
“I threw six different pitches,” Wilson said. “All of them were good. A high fastball, a sinker, a sidearm fastball that I used the last couple of innings, my curve and slider were good and my changeup. You can’t just go out there and throw heaters; they’ll figure that out.”
Beltre was the offensive star with four hits while Craig Gentry and Ian Kinsler added three apiece for the Rangers, who have taken 10 of their last 11 from the A’s this season.
Beltre has seven homers in his last eight games against Oakland and 15 RBIs against the A’s this season.
Commenting on reaching 300 career homers, Beltre said, “It means I’ve been playing for a long time. I’m proud of that. It’s something not many guys can do.”
Eric Sogard homered against Koji Uehara leading off the ninth to end the shutout bid.
The Rangers extended their division lead over second-place Los Angeles to 2 1/2 games when the Angels were beaten by the New York Yankees 6-5.
Josh Outman (3-5) got a spot start for Oakland, replacing Rich Harden, whose turn in the rotation was pushed back to give him extra rest. Outman allowed four runs and eight hits over 4 2-3 innings.
Outman, whose previous three appearances came in relief, was making his ninth start of the season, first since July 2.
The Rangers broke up a scoreless game in the fifth when Gentry led off with his first career triple and Kinsler drove him in with a single.
Kinsler advanced to second on his 23rd straight stolen base, tying his club record, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Josh Hamilton’s sacrifice fly.
Michael Young reached on an infield single and Beltre followed with a two-run homer to left field. Beltre also doubled in the second to extend his hitting streak to 16 games.
“It’s always a good-hitting lineup, especially in this park, no matter what nine they throw out there,” Outman said. “I battled through the first four innings, then in the fifth I was a little leg-weary. I felt like every mistake I made, they capitalized on.”
Beltre led off the seventh against Andrew Carignan with his 23rd homer for his 22nd career multihomer game.
Later in the seventh, Gentry and Elvis Andrus had RBI singles to make it 7-0.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)